Reading London Review of Books (2008 issues — Part I)

“At the Movies” by Michael Wood — A discussion of No Country for Old Man (directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)

|It says he doesn’t understand what’s happening, of course; but it also says he doesn’t believe he doesn’t understand.|

“Drowned in Eau de Vie” by Modris Eksteins

|The moderns wanted to be new, fast. This urgency demanded that the old be eliminated.|

|Modernism was the culture of an age of mass death. […] Death was both figurative and literal, evident in the mechanisation of the world and the industrial killing of modern war.|

“That Wilting Flower” by Hilary Mantel

|Where has youth gone? Why dost thou lash that whore? Why are you looking at me like that?|

|now those of us who deal in metaphors don’t know how to make machines.| 

|Spectral pedestrians are never children, though many children are killed on the roads.| 

 “Short Cuts: Blogged Down” by Thomas Jones

|In other words, for an anthology of blogs to work, the blogs it contains have to be as unbloglike – as booklike – as possible. |

“At the Movies” by Michael Wood — A discussion of Lust, Caution (directed by Ang Lee)

|In the film moderately scrutable orientals play inscrutable orientals pretending to be inscrutable orientals.|

|he is cautious as well as lustful, more cautious than lustful at this moment|

|It’s not, I think, that she is actually tempting. Only that she is a perfect picture of what temptation is supposed to look like.|

|‘complexity of combinations, contortions of the partners, everything is beyond human nature.’|

|Be cautious about lust, that story would rather sentimentally go, because even simulated lust may turn you into a human being.|

 “At Roane Head” by Robin Robertson — a poem

|Her husband left her: said
they couldn’t be his, they were more
fish than human;
he said they were beglamoured,
and searched their skin for the showing marks.|

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